Unionize MD

Final Animation:

The Problem:
The Motion Design industry relies heavily on freelance artists bordering on industry wide misclassification. Contract labor restricts employees access to benefits, collective bargaining, discrimination protections, and other worker’s rights afforded to full time employees. 

Project Brief:
Create a short animation advocating for unionization in the motion design industry to be distributed in professional networking groups

_Design Direction:

Founded in the wake of the Disney animators' strike of 1941, United Productions of America (UPA) pioneered limited animation techniques and defined the the look of Mid-Century Modern animation.

Using film grain and drop shadows to emulate the look of animating on physical celulloid film, our selected design style allows for fast paced production and nods to the history of union membership in our industry.


During the storyboarding process, I referenced the Every Frame A Painting essay on Chuck Jones, one of UPA’s contemporaries. Following the Expectation vs. Reality formula to misdirect the audience’s attention for engaging visual gags.

_Animation Process:

Following in UPA’s footsetps, cel animation allowed us to begin production as fast as possible and gave us the flexibity required to create limited animation without fighting rigs. The original timeline was 3 weeks so animating on 3’s was a must to meet the quick turn around.

In the past, I’ve animated puppeted charcters and used cel for effects animation, but this was my first foray into character based cel animation. All those extracurricular figure drawing sessions were paying off!

_First Pass:

After 22 hours of work over 2 days, the first pass was completed, demonstrating all visual gags, and 50/50 rough vs. final animation.

Art Director’s Notes:
- Finalize all rough animation
- Line Boil on BG
- Film Grain should be on 1s not 3s
- Shadow animation should follow inverse-square law


While I was trying to emulate the techniques of Mid-Century Modern animation, there were a few places where I took some shortcuts in compositing. Instead of redrawing my background art, I opted to fake the line boil with a subtle turbulent displace effect animated using hold keyframes.

_Second Pass:

The second pass was made without the long days and nights required to finish the first pass. All notes were addressed and animation was ready for approval.

Art Director’s Notes:
- Change expression on Union Members’ ending pose

_Final Animation: